The research will assess the impact of mattress quality on sleep issues. Photo: Alexandra Gorn

The power of sleep

Sleep coach Tom Coleman has spent over ten years working globally in sleep analysis, health and wellbeing, and research on sleep habits and impacts.

He is now working as the Sleep Consultant at Des Kelly Interiors currently training staff on the importance of sleep and how to promote better rest.

As well as advising on the bedroom environment, bed design and consumer education campaigns to help enhance sleep, he is collaborating with the bed retailer on a new Irish study of athletic performance and recovery, linked to sleep quality.

The research with five top athletes will assess the impact of mattress quality on sleep issues like sleep duration, wake episodes and sleep latency - the time it takes to fall asleep.

A wearable device for sleep monitoring, (actigraphy), will be used, with results analysed to determine how factors like sleep routine, overstimulation, and the sleep setting can impact quality rest.

The wearable technology is the same state-of-the-art device, designed by the US military for their fighter pilots, and used by both NASA and Harvard in studies to accurately assess sleep quality and predict fatigue.

Improved health can be as simple as getting a good night’s sleep, and, for athletes, good quality sleep is now recognised as a key component in their success, Tom maintains.

He said: “Sleep is one of the pillars of good health and self-care which, along with nutrition and exercise, is hugely restorative. Elite sports trainers base training schedules, recovery sessions, nutrition plans and many aspects of their athletes’ routines to promote optimum sleep.”

Coleman works with world-class athletes and leading global companies like PayPal and eBay on sleep solutions. He has advised athletes including Irish rugby internationals, county GAA teams, professional boxers, MMA fighters and tennis players, as well as acting in an advisory capacity to elite sporting bodies.

We should be spending 36 per cent of our lives sleeping, the most time humans will dedicate to any one single biological activity, he explains.

“From immunity to body composition, emotional health and cognitive function, our brain reboots as we sleep, and tissue repair occurs. Sleep is regarded as a powerful health protective behaviour that should be harnessed by everyone,” he said.